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Deepdale (ATT 12,089) 30th August 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Oliver

Preston Preston North End vs Charlton Athletic Charlton

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Preston comeback stuns Addicks

Mellor and Nicholson on target in 2-1 win

Last Updated: 30/08/08 6:23pm

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Mellor and Nicholson: Preston heroes

Mellor and Nicholson: Preston heroes

Preston came from behind to beat Charlton 2-1 at Deepdale and climb to second in the Championship table.

Andy Gray put Charlton ahead from the penalty spot in the first half but Neil Mellor equalised after the break and Barry Nicholson grabbed the winner on 66 minutes.

The hosts created the first chance of the game after three minutes, but Charlton goalkeeper Nicky Weaver reacted well to tip Richard Chaplow's 18-yard strike around the post.

Gray then saw a close-range header cleared by Youl Mawene, but it was Preston who remained on top, with Nicholson and new loan signing Jon Parkin both forcing excellent blocks from the Charlton defence.

The visitors then took the lead against the run of play after 19 minutes, following an error by Mawene.

The former Derby centre-back got himself into a tangle before bringing down Luke Varney in the box, and referee Clive Oliver had no hesitation in awarding a penalty which Gray coolly slotted past Andy Lonergan.

Nicholson and Mellor both saw headers saved by Weaver, while Parkin also fired over from 20 yards as Preston tried to get back on level terms.

Equaliser

The home side almost grabbed an equaliser with four minutes of the half remaining, but Sean St Ledger's 12-yard strike cannoned back off the post with Weaver beaten.

Preston started the second half in the same way they had ended the first, with Parkin seeing yet another shot blocked by Jonathan Fortune.

After 52 minutes, Parkin had a further chance to level the scores, but his header was comfortably saved by the outstanding Weaver, who then pulled off a magnificent save from Mellor's 25-yard shot.

Rewarded

Preston were eventually rewarded for their dominance after 58 minutes, as Mellor lashed the ball home from six yards following Chris Sedgwick's left-wing cross.

Charlton responded with an attack of their own, and Lonergan had to be alert to tip Mark Hudson's header over the bar.

However, Preston doubled their lead shortly afterwards, as Nicholson capitalised on a rare moment of hesitation from the Charlton defence and poked home from close range.

Varney wasted a glorious chance to bring Charlton level after 72 minutes when he fired over the bar from six yards, but from that moment on Preston were rarely troubled, and they held on with relative comfort to maintain their unbeaten start to the Championship season.

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Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Leicester City 43 93
2 Burnley 43 86
3 Derby County 43 78
4 Queens Park Rangers 43 73
5 Wigan Athletic 42 70
6 Brighton and Hove Albion 43 65
7 Reading 43 64
8 Ipswich Town 43 64
9 Nottingham Forest 43 62
10 Bournemouth 43 62
11 Blackburn Rovers 43 61
12 Watford 42 60
13 Middlesbrough 43 58
14 Bolton Wanderers 43 55
15 Sheffield Wednesday 43 53
16 Leeds United 43 53
17 Huddersfield Town 43 47
18 Birmingham City 42 43
19 Doncaster Rovers 43 43
20 Millwall 43 43
21 Charlton Athletic 42 42
22 Blackpool 43 42
23 Barnsley 43 39
24 Yeovil Town 43 37

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